Joe Dimaggio: True Heroes

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What constitutes a “hero” and how do you determine their worth? Should this distinction be placed on one because of their popularity with fans? Their level of performance in the athletic arena or the amount of money they make? Heroes are individuals that we draw inspiration from. They are individuals that, through their actions and performance challenge us to become better, not only athletically, but also socially and morally. Are athletes even worthy of being characterized as a hero in a society that has firemen, teachers, soldiers, mothers and fathers? The purpose of this essay is to investigate six athletes from different sports and eras and examine their “worth” as heroes as part of the American fabric. It is also important to compare…show more content…
Joe DiMaggio, had many devoted and admiring fans. He grew up in an Italian section of San Francisco and was the son of Giuseppe DiMaggio, who had immigrated to the United States in 1898. Joe was a typical Italian immigrant at the beginning of the 20th century. He was poor, limited in opportunities and yearning to belong. He found that sense of belonging at the sandlot fields in San Francisco. DiMaggio soon became one of the many immigrants who realized the “American Dream” by succeeding in his dream profession. Like many immigrants during World War Two, DiMaggio had to prove his loyalty to America. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many German, Italian and Japanese immigrants were labeled as “enemy aliens.” Joe’s parents had to carry photo ID at all times and were not allowed to travel more than five miles from their home without a permit. Joe enlisted in the Army, and although he never saw combat he eventually earned the rank of sergeant. Up until his death, DiMaggio was the face of numerous companies, including the Bowery Bank of New York and Mr. Coffee. He was virtuous, professional and trustworthy. This allowed America to connect with him in a way that is not common with athletes. His devotion to Marilyn Monroe even after their marriage ended increased his legacy of an honest and caring individual. Lastly, Joe’s devotion to children was realized when he established the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood,

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